Favorite

Obsessed 

Try as I might, I can’t turn my attention to more parochial subjects. The presidential election obsesses me. It’s not healthy. I shout nightly at the TV shouters. I websurf all hours, desperate for scraps of encouraging poll information. If there is good news, it is that I’m not alone. It is the only subject when I run into friends at the grocery. People with previously lukewarm political interests are energized. My college sophomore son wants to know why County Clerk Carolyn Staley hasn’t yet supplied him with the absentee ballot he requested long ago. (I’d tell him the sad story of the clerk’s office, but I don’t want him to sour on politics altogether.) Finally, I make here a frank admission, prompted by a Bob Herbert column Monday in the New York Times. Yes, bad news is good political news for those who’d like to see George W. Bush sent home to his faux Texas ranch. There are, of course, ample policy reasons to oppose a Bush election (none dare call it re-election). The news bulletin that Chief Justice William Rehnquist is suffering from thyroid cancer was a stark reminder of the singular damage Bush can do with just ability to replace the aged members of the Supreme Court. But it is in the bad news that we really understand this president, a man on whose desk no buck has ever stopped. It was not the U.S., which broke and thus bought Iraq with Bush’s war, but the Iraqi provisional government that was forced to make a startling announcement this week. Oops, nearly 400 tons of powerful explosives are missing. When Saddam was in power and Iraq was under the watch of international inspectors, this arsenal was accounted for. The inspectors warned the Bush administration. Then came shock and awe. The Bushies were too busy guarding the oil ministry. The explosives disappeared. Now we are shocked by the loss of more than 1,000 American men and women and crippling of thousands more, thanks often to explosives such as those missing. There’s so much more to consider, as Herbert noted. That ragged band derided by Bush lieutenants as a handful of dead-enders has infiltrated the Iraqi army. It used their uniforms to set up a mass execution of troops. Hostages plead not to be beheaded. The stock market has cratered. Early retirement based on private investments is a joke, a dollars-and-cents repudiation of Bush’s idea to privatize Social Security. Oil, which Bush was going to jawbone down to $28 a barrel, costs double that. We don’t have enough flu vaccine. Bush says we can get it from Canada, which he had previously deemed unsafe as a drug source for pinched seniors. And yet and yet — Bush is in a dead heat in the polls. He’s below 50 percent, true. He is trailing in some key battleground states. It is not ridiculous to imagine a scenario in which he could win the popular vote but lose the Electoral College. Do you believe he will leave office gracefully or willingly if that happens? Has he ever admitted a mistake or a defeat? No, he’d linger and sue in hopes that Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, William Rehnquist, Anthony Kennedy and Sandra O’Connor would appoint him again.
Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Bangin' in LR

    About 2:30 a.m. Saturday, with the Power Ultra Lounge downtown jammed for a rap show by Finese2Tymes (Ricky Hampton of Memphis), gunfire broke out. Before it was over, 25 people had been wounded by gunfire and three others injured in the rush for safety.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Pay attention

    • Nicely said, Antwan.

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Sounds like maybe some of those descriptors hit a little close to home for you.

    • on July 20, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Oh, please. Just a teensy bit self-righteous aren't you. You are. How do you KNOW…

    • on July 20, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation